Human Resources Blog - Spark Hire

Outside-The-Box Ways To Improve Company Culture

Companies are rapidly learning the value of a good company culture. After all, attractive cultures also attract good candidates. Smart companies are constantly realizing the modern worker is looking for a bit more than the traditional workplace benefits. Companies can then use these perks to entice great candidates in the video interview or at any time throughout the hiring process.

To reel in the best employees, these companies are starting to look at less traditional ways to boost employee morale. Happier employees are also more productive employees, which is why companies are willing to step outside-the-box when it comes to improving company culture.

Here are some ways companies are looking outside the traditional perks to attract and keep great employees:

Unlimited Vacation Time
Does your superstar employee want to go backpacking through Europe for a month? More companies are getting on board with the idea by embracing unlimited vacations. Companies from Netflix to Evernote have already jumped on the unlimited vacation bandwagon. These companies claim the idea doesn’t cause a loss in productivity, but instead encourages workers to make better use of their time. By giving employees free reign to take off as much as they want, these companies are giving workers responsibility and trust. This will let you know which employees are likely to abuse this trust and which will use it for good. Best of all, employees will come back from vacations relaxed, recharged and ready to continue innovating.

Get Caught Napping
In an episode of the sitcom Seinfeld, George found the perfect place to nap: under his desk. Today, some workers don’t have to find a deserted cubbyhole in the office when they need to rest. Instead, companies are providing nap rooms and sleep pods when employees need some brief shut eye. This idea might seem wacky to some, and even counterintuitive when it comes to increasing productivity. These companies realize, however, they are creating a culture in which employees are allowed to recharge their batteries. After a quick nap employees can better focus on the task at hand- no hiding required.  

Get Fido Working
If you feel bad about leaving your four-legged companion at home when you set out for the day, some companies are making it easier to spend quality time with your pet. More companies are allowing employees to bring their furry friends into the office. While this might not work for all companies, especially if some employees are allergic, the benefits of having pets around can really boost morale for pet owning workers. Allowing workers to bring their pets into the office creates a friendly company culture for pet owners and allows them to spend more hours at work without the guilt of leaving Fido at home.

Encourage Fun
While it’s important to listen to the concerns and innovative ideas of your employees, sometimes you need to know when to cut loose. Hard working employees can only burn the candle at both ends for so long before they will eventually burn out. You want to avoid this burnout at all costs, because you don’t want to lose valuable talent. Instead, make fun an important part of your company culture. Whether it’s pool tables, basketball courts or a free snack bar, many companies know that if their employees have somewhere to blow off steam in the office, they’ll return more productive.

Developing a great company culture is truly important for companies looking to find and keep the best talent. In the hustle to find the very best workers, your company might want to think outside-the-box when it comes to developing a culture where employees look forward to work each day. These perks can then be used to brand your company as a great place to work for prospective candidates, in the video interview or just through word-of-mouth. Whether it’s naps, furry friends or office fun make sure your employee morale stays sunny to keep workers motivated and turning in their best work.

What are some outside-the-box ideas you have for improving company culture? Share in the comments!

IMAGE: Courtesy of Flickr by mikecogh

Heather Huhman

Heather R. Huhman is the Career & Recruiting Advisor for Spark Hire. She writes career and recruiting advice for numerous outlets, and is the author of Lies, Damned Lies & Internships: The Truth About Getting from Classroom to Cubicle (2011), and #ENTRYLEVELtweet: Taking Your Career from Classroom to Cubicle (2010).